On a remote highway in Arizona women are disappearing at truck stops. Journalist Johnny Sullivan travels to the area to investigate. He encounters hitchhiker Patty, who is being hunted by violent trucker Red. Patty tells Johnny of the local myth of the maniac trucker. Johnny also meets Valentino de La Cruz, a mysterious Mexican who is looking for his missing sister. Valentino is having an affair with Natasha, the wife of recently murdered businessman, Theodore Mills, whose wealth funds the corrupt police force in the area. The local highway patrol is run by sexually sadistic Sam Roche and Franklin Norman and they want to put an end to Johnny's snooping. Marshall Simmons knows a lot about the goings on in the area, and has a young woman captive in a house. He is reprogramming her identity. Meanwhile Johnny discovers that years previously serial killer Donald Lake disappeared in the area while in transit between prisons. And it seems he had police help. But what is being done to the women? And who is running the criminal organization that controls the area? Savage Highways is about lawlessness and the hunt for justice in a no-man land. Pedal to the floor all the way, the narrative speeds towards its stunning and unforeseeable conclusion.
©2016 Richard Godwin (P)2017 WildBlue Press
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Gosh, I love a good horror/mystery book and this is true to it's name - it's a savage one! "Savage Highway" is a delightfully brutal tale about a part of America that I would never want to visit. Women are going missing, a murderer is on the loose, a maniac trucker prowls the highways and a further disturbing twist I will not spoil. I found the characters to be wonderfully diverse and the story to be quite intriguing. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a juicy mystery along with some fantastic horror, but not to anyone who is sensitive to sexual violence. There is a fairly large amount of sexual violence in this book. Scott Cummings does a fantastic job of narration, so good in fact that I will seek out other books he's narrated! I didn't want this one to end. 10/10
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.
At many points in this book there are times when you think of stopping. Highly charged and disturbing at times it is a hard listen. The narrator did a good job, may too good. You feel the graphic horror of situations and flinch. I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, narrator, and/or publisher.
This was a haunting story. It's not something for people who are prone to nightmares. The people within it are deplorable. And you know what? The author wrote that all in a way that keeps you wanting to listen. I liked this one, even if it was disturbing at times.
The most chilling part was with the man who forced a woman to be like cattle for him. Very creepy. Definitely made my skin crawl.
I received a copy from the author, narrator, and/or publisher and voluntarily gave a review.
"Twisted,violent and graphic"
The title fits the book perfectly; this story is violent, depraved, scary and has some very sick minded people in it. It is well written, has twists and the narration of the audiobook is great. Cummings’ captures the slimy feel of the corrupt, debauched characters and the terror of their victims well. His voice imparts seduction, coldness, anger, madness and fear in all the right places. The unique writing style and great narration puts visuals in your mind that you would rather not have there. It's one of those really disturbing stories that you think, why am I reading this, but you still can't seem to stop. It is gritty, brutal, graphic, suspenseful and at times seems too intense and sexually violent to listen to, but even as it turns your stomach, you continue to listen as you need to find out how it all ends.
This was an alright book. It was too graphic for my liking, but the story line was good and could have been better without all the graphic violence against women. The narrator did a good job.
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.
WARNING! This book contains much graphic violence and sadistic sex. It's extreme enough to stretch credibility, but it makes for an intense thriller. The
environment is a bit sterile and the characters are sort of one dimensional.
Scott Cummings' performance is outstanding. His character voices are not only distinctive, but very appropriate to the character. This is an exciting listen.
NOTE: I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for this unbiased review.
"The Depravity of Man . . ."
Let me preclude this submission by stating; I was provided a free copy of this audio-book by the narrator in return for my unbiased review.
This book is a odd one to review for me. It tells a tale of such a corrupted stretch of highway in Arizona that even the characters wonder if the place is for real. The term "savage" in the title aptly describes every character in the story (with the possible exception of one), including the heroine. The physical, mental, and sexual depravity is apparent in every chapter and described in great detail. This listen is not for the squeamish or one offended by physical and sexual violence, particularly that directed toward women. Rape, torture, and dismemberment abound, not to mention the mental cruelty. Even some of the female characters participate in all these aspects of the levels of depravity which humans can (and do) sink to.
That being said; I was drawn into the book and listened to it straight through. The action starts right off as the author has you walk into the truck stop restaurant and his description, along with the narrator's tone, has you sensing you are sitting in at the counter witnessing the scene. The ability of the author to put you on the scene works to both thrill you and turn your stomach depending on the particular events of the moment. Just when you think the story and characters cannot get any more twisted than it already is, it takes a turn into even darker regions. The thing that makes the violence and sexual sadism tolerable is it is used to develop the characters and their backstories. It is not like the author just throws the scenes and bad guys/girls at you, he let's you know how and why they became so screwed up. As the scenes continue to build, and the killings, rescues, and near tragedies mount, the results become almost unbelievable. The one constant that almost becomes too repetitive is the amount of times that the heroine (Patty) puts herself in danger and escapes untold horrors, but each time they had me wriggling in my chair. However, by the end of the story, and given how the pieces finally fall together, the repetitiveness becomes a moot point. The ultimate reason behind all the horrors of the story is, well, even more horrifying that all the scenes in the story, combined. Think of a story with about a half dozen Jeffery Dahmer-types working in concert with each other along a 10-miles stretch of highway.
I gave the story and overall rating 3-stars simply because, as bizarre and at times sickening as it was, it did draw me in. Not sure what that says about some macabre regions of my mind, but a sign of a good story is that it will draw its readers into it. I could not, in good faith, give it a higher rating as it was just too twisted to rank up there with 4 and 5-star books. Also helping in the overall score was the strong performance by Scott Cummings. His almost monotone delivery during the most tense and repulsive scenes worked to show what sort of emotionless individuals could pull off such actions without raising their pulse. The scenes are, for the most part, very hardscrabble and that it reflected in Scott's delivery. I would dare to say that, if not for the narration style, I may not have finished this book as it certainly helped to control the tone of the story.
Would I recommend this book to others? Yes, with this caveat; although it is an integral part of the story, be aware that sexual sadism and violence are prevalent in this book.Ff you struggle with it through the first couple of chapters, then you should probably stop listening . . . if you can.
"My kind of twisted."
The many twists and turns of characters and finding out who is bad and who is not.
Somewhat similar to an Edward Lee kind of darkness but not as intense as Lee.
Patty. I felt so sorry for her. I thought she was an absolute badass and was stoked for how things work out for her.
I wanted to but couldn't. I did listen a second time though just to better "hear"the story. It's a bit complex the first time through!
I was gifted this book by the author/publisher for an unbiased review. I loved this book and am always happy when I get one gifted to me that I enjoy so much!
"Could have been better"
I truly believe the author wrote this for pure shock value. It is extremely graphic, which I don't mind. I think the amount of graphic violence was not needed to tell the story. The story itself may have actually come through a little better without so many. I thought the performance was good. If you like books with true, hard core graphic violence against women then you will like this book.
"COMPELS YOU INTO THE THICK NASTINESS OF THE HORROR"
I was provided this audiobook through Audiobook Boom at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review.
This genre is always a difficult one to review. The sexual perversive subject matter will send some running to the restroom, while others like me accept every sick detail for what it is... fictional. It's the safe place you can privately experience this level of horror (unless you write a review so the world sees what you read).
The story starts immediately. There are a lot of players and each is introduced as if you've known them all along. There isn't a pulsating "who done it" creepiness, because most are pretty much guilty. The mood is more of a 'let's get the Hell outta Dodge before something happens to us" kinda feeling except you can't until you finish what you're there for. Skin creeps, ya know?
On an personal note, the town that Johnny is from is actually just a few miles north of me, as I write this review. LOL
Scott Cummings did a bang-up job.
I'll give it both thumbs up.
""One of the safest places in the United States.""
When I was gifted a copy of Savage Highway by the rights holder, via Audiobook Boom, I was warned that it contained graphic violence and rape scenes so I was fully prepared, frankly, for something extreme and the opening depiction of prostitution being conducted at road station diner was graphic with a gritty realism. But as the tale continued it's journey into the unknown depths of somewhere in Arizona where an out of work journal!ist arrives investigating rumours of a Maniac Trucker, be!ieved to have abducted raped and murdered in excess of 100 people ( and of whom the locals denied any knowledge), I began to wonder if this was a comedy horror. Just the names of two of the towns - Virtue and Purity - set amidst the heartland of sexual lasciviousness, and the local hotel, the Morality Inn, soon had me smiling more than being overwhelmed by this tale of dastardly deeds.. The whole was just so overindulgent in trying to shock. Almost without reserve, the locals were foul mouthed and dirty minded, intent on rape, violence and murder whilst the two strangers to the area were fine, upstanding gentlemen looking out for the womenfolk.
Whilst I later again revised my idea that this was supposed to be a very black comedy, that opinion had been assisted by the deliciously deep, depth filled voice of the narrator, Scott Cummings. His voice was to me reminiscent of Vincent Price (the superb master of comedic horror) both in tonal quality and speed of reading. There are numerous protagonists to voice, and this Mr.Cummings does very well, with clarity and differentiation. And his text reading was superb (apart from a very odd pronunciation of the word buttocks).
Whilst I could see the basis of this book succeeding well as a film, with excellent character portrayals of two or three of the villains made obvious from the beginning whist keeping the other baddies hidden until a much later shock reveal, for me the story as it stands really didn't work . Even what should have been the very atmospheric nightmarish feeling of being trapped in an unreal world by virtue of always being funnelled back to the same four towns was underplayed, in favour of far too much emphasis on the rather immature sado sexual phantasy writing. The shock/horfor value was lost in the tediousness of similarity. A case of less can be much, much more.
So, a very good horror thriller idea which, for this reader, failed to achieve more than slightly amused exasperation for what might have been. Thank goodness for audio: the book is saved by the narration.
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